I want to be a lifelong learner.
I want to be open to God's promptings and the movement of the Holy Spirit in my life.
I want to listen, hear and respond. -- well, most of the time.
Let me explain.
Just yesterday one of my friends and team members in ministry left a message with regard to a meeting our team had early that day. I usually love hearing from this friend and co-laborer. The message began with words of encouragement and praise for our time together. The message continued with a word of caution and guidance. In a direct and loving way she told me to trust our team to complete the task at hand and that I needed to really listen to the team's comments and opinions.
I listened to the message rather quickly. To be totally honest -- I "skimmed" over her words hoping to capture the key points and move on. I was half listening. Oops! I was doing it again. Then when I paused and considered her words, I realized she was right.
My default is to jump to the bottom line and PUSH ahead when the pressure is on.
I am thankful for a friend who knows me, loves me and cares enough to help me grow. And, I am thankful for God who knows me, loves me and cares enough to help me keep growing.
The first step is becoming aware of my need to change and then I must lean into the hard process of actually changing. For the past few days I seem to keep bumping up against opportunities to apply what I've been learning! I guess this is what it looks like to practice being teachable.
Essence of the Practice
- listening more, talking less
- refraining from snap judgments
- an appropriate openness to new ideas, opinions, styles, and people
- curbing the know-it-all attitude
- asking questions that lead to a deeper God awareness
Making it Your Own
- Ask God to give you a teachable heart and a will to listen.
- Think about a time you learned something from someone who wasn't an authority or an expert. What did you learn? What was it like for you? Tell that person what you learned from them. (For example, my 11 year old son continues to teach me what it looks like to be an encourager. He gave me a high-five the other day as I walked through the kitchen.)
- Become aware of your compulsion to let others know what you think. Notice when you're composing what you will say next rather than listening to the one who is speaking.
- Get comfortable with saying "I don't know".
- Keep a log of the new things you are learning and experiencing with God.
- Who do you want to be five, ten, twenty years from now? What will you have to learn to become that person? Ask God to help you become this person. Make a list of those things you need to STOP doing and those things you need to START doing to become that person.
- Ask a trusted friend to help you see and hear more clearly. Invite this person to discuss your current aptitude in listening, hearing and responding. Then invite them to walk alongside you as you learn to become more teachable.
some of these ideas are adapted from Adele Ahlberg Calhoun's Spiritual Disciplines Handbook
How teachable are you?
How do you respond when you hear an opinion you don't agree with?
What are you learning about God and yourself these days?